Alan Davies began a career in stand-up comedy on graduating from the University of Kent in 1988. He was runner-up in the “City Limits New Act of the Year” contest 1989, and made his television debut on LWT’s First Exposure that year. He was named “Time Out Best Young Comic” in 1991. He made his network television debut with two live appearances on Tonight with Jonathan Ross on Channel 4 in 1992. In 1993 two more spots on C4’s Viva Cabaret led to a nomination for a British Comedy Award as Best Newcomer. He was given an Edinburgh Festival Critics Award for Comedy and a Perrier Award Nomination following a sell-out stand-up season in 1994. The show was released on VHS as Live At The Lyric. By now he had his own show on BBC Radio 1, Alan’s Big 1FM, and was a regular guest on Have I Got News For You and The Clive James Show. In 1995 he appeared at the Montreal, Melbourne and Auckland Comedy Festivals and was nominated for a British Comedy Award as Best Stand-Up Comedian.. In 1996 he took the eponymous role of Jonathan Creek, written by David Renwick, which won a BAFTA Award for Best Drama. The show ran for 14 years and has been sold worldwide. He returned to Edinburgh with another sell-out show, Urban Trauma, in 1998. The show toured in New Zealand, ran at the Duchess Theatre for a sell-out West End season, and then toured the UK. It was recorded for a DVD and was shown on BBC1. The UK tour was covered in a three part BBC1 documentary series, Stand-Up with Alan Davies. At this time his Radio 4 sitcom The Alan Davies Show was nominated for a British Comedy Award. More acting roles followed and in 2000 he starred in A Many Splintered Thing for BBC1 which was nominated for the Golden Rose of Montreux.
In 2001, he took the role of Bob in Russel T.Davies’ Bob & Rose. The show was nominated for a BAFTA Award and won Best Drama at the Monte Carlo Television Awards where Alan was awarded Best Actor in a Drama. Following a sell-out stand-up run at Edinburgh in 2001, he starred in Auntie and Me by Morris Panych which ran in another sell-out season at Edinburgh in 2002 before transferring to the Wyndham’s Theatre for a 4 month West End run. In 2002 Alan took part in a comedy pilot produced by John Lloyd and hosted by Stephen Fry. QI has subsequently run on either BBC1 or BBC2 every year since 2003. In 2004 Alan starred in a feature length drama for ITV1, Roman Road. The lead role in two series of the ITV1 legal drama, The Brief, followed, and then another sell-out Edinburgh season in 2005, as Felix in The Odd Couple. After a one-off comedy drama for BBC1 The Good Housekeeping Guide, and a guest part in ITV1’s Marple, came a role in the 2008 hit movie Angus,Thongs and Perfect Snogging. Penguin published his first book, My Favourite People 1978-1988, in 2009. The book was adapted, by Oxford Film & Televison, into a three part documentary series for Channel 4 called Teenage Revolution (also the title for the paperback). In 2010 he took the lead role of chef Roland White in the BBC2 sitcom Whites. In 2011 Alan co-wrote and starred in a short film for Sky One as part of their Little Crackers Christmas season before returning to Australia for a successful tour of QI Live followed by a sell-out tour of his new stand-up show, Life Is Pain, which will run at the Edinburgh Festival in 2012 and then tour the UK. He is married to the children’s author Katie Davies. They have two children.